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Although men and women have equal educational opportunities, women were much more likely than men to give up school after the 9 compulsory years.

However, in the past two decades the gap has narrowed considerably as women have profited from the upsurge in training opportunities. In 1980 just under 18% of women took no further training after leaving school; by 2001 the figure was just under two per cent, only marginally greater than the proportion of men.

Nevertheless, women tend to follow shorter courses than men do. The number of women who have completed tertiary level education - university or specialised institutes - is much lower than the number of men.

"When I wanted to go to university, my mother thought it was a bad thing. At that time people would say: Very well, study if you want to, but then don't expect to find a husband and have a family."


Lilian Uchtenhagen (1928 - ), economist, one of 10 women elected to the Federal Assembly in 1971, the first woman member to address the National Council.

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